Jeonbuk defeat Sydney FC to keep ACL2020 knockout stage hope alive


Jeonbuk and Sydney FC both went into this match with a single point. The sides knew they had to win the game, as a defeat of a draw would put them in a very difficult position in the group. 

Jeonbuk get vital win

Jeonbuk came managed to edge out a win against Sydney FC in the AFC Champions League Group C, which gives them a fighting chance of getting out of the group and through to the knockout stages.

Both sides came into the match on a point each, after a 2-2 in Australia, before football around the world was shut down because of COVID-19. Neither side has won since matches began again in Qatar, so that point each got in Australia has been the point both remained on until they faced each other again tonight. 

The match itself was a tight encounter, one where a moment of magic from Jeonbuk going forward ended with Sung-Eun Na squeezing a shot into the bottom corner from a tight angle, shooting hard and low across the keeper enough to see it squeezing in, some will indeed say perfectly placed, because anywhere else the shot was aimed at were surely have seen it beaten away by the keeper.

That goal was sunk into the onion bag on the 44th minutes, which commentators and coaches the world over will continue to tell you is a perfect time to score. That is what it turned out to be, as some great keeping from Song Bum-keun managed to keep Sydney out.

It is no wonder that the Australians pushed hard to find the goals needed to overturn the 1-0 deficit because this win for Jeonbuk puts them onto four points, and Sydney remain on one point. 

With games left to play against both Yokohama and SIPG, this means that Jeonbuk now have their Champions League fate in their own destiny really. Beat both these sides, and they should be through. 

A Shanghai SIPG, Yokohama F.Marinos draw would be grand

A draw for SIPG and Yokohama would be a good result for Jeonbuk, as it would only put them three points ahead of them. With Jeonbuk still needing to face both sides again, then that would mean their fate remains with themselves. 

However, if the match between SIPG and Yokohama is not a draw, then Jeonbuk really have to beat the side who lose between SIPG and Yokohama to stand any chance at all going through. 

This group is one of the more difficult ones in the East Zone if you take into account the positions the sides finished last season. Jeonbuk won the K League, Yokohama F.Marinos won the J.League, Sydney FC won the A-League, and Shanghai SIPG finished 3rd in the Chinese Super League behind a strong Guangzhou Evergrande and Beijing Guoan sides.

So as 'Champions Leagues' go, this is nearly a group of Champions from Asian leagues, which makes it one of the toughest groups (on paper) in the East Zone. Therefore whichever sides qualify as the top two have done a very good job in getting out of the group. 

Currently, the top two sides are Shanghai SIPG and Shanghai SIPG, but as Jeonbuk, SIPG and Yokohama all still have to play each other again that could all change soon, and Jeonbuk have given themselves a fighting chance by winning this bottom of the group match. 

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